WINNERS!! The winners from last week’s blog with the lovely Janet Nash are: Anne and Ellie. Congratulations! Please email me at: christie (at) christie-craig (dot) com and let me know if you’d prefer your ebook via Amazon or B&N.
Contest! Contest! This week one person who leaves a comment will win an inspirational rock (yeah, a rock with an inspirational saying on it) as well as a signed copy of any of my novels.
When Pigs Fly
I spotted it in the sky. “Stop! Pull over! Now!” I yelled all the while trying to rescue my camera from its case.
Hubby was driving; we were in California. I believe it was Topanga Canyon. I’d seen the object just as he turned a corner, half hidden behind some trees. I blinked twice, thinking I was imagining it, but when it didn’t disappear, I knew I had to have a picture of it.
Hubby of course thought I’d lost it when I first started yelling. But then he saw it. Like a good hubby, when he heard the determination in my voice—a tone that basically meant you stop this car or you’ll be in the doghouse—he pulled over, told me to be careful exiting the car, and then watched me in the rearview mirror walk back a hundred feet, aim my camera in the sky, and take a picture of the flying pig.
“It’s for my blog,” I told him when I got back in the car.
“I figured,” he said. “When pigs fly, right?”
I just nodded. I guess after you’ve been married to someone as long as we have, they even know the monster’s dialogue that lives inside your head.
I’m not sure where the monster got that particular dialogue. But it was probably from me, and I probably got it from some negative-Nellie person who crossed my path. I was probably young and impressionable, because the saying stuck with me.
It stuck so strongly that it became my inner monster’s mantra. Do you know the inner monster I’m talking about? The ones who lives inside our heads and hearts. The ones who gnaws on our souls whenever we attempt to accomplish something. And by something, I mean something positive.
You no more get an idea to achieve some feat and . . . bam, that monster starts piping up in your head with negative script that makes attempting your goals twice as hard.
I think most of us have those ugly little gremlins living in our head. Some people call them self-doubt, some people call them insecurities. I call them a lot of things, including a bunch of four letter words.
Years ago when I first started writing, that negative gremlin popped up in an attempt to stop me from even trying. I wanna write a book, I thought, and that ugly little voice spoke up and said, Yeah, you didn’t even finish high school, you can’t spell, you’ll write a book about the same time . . . well, when pigs fly.
I managed to finish that book and few others, and my goals grew bigger. I wanna become a published writer.
“When pigs fly,” that scratchy voice insisted.
You’d think that after accomplishing some of my “wannas” and finishing a lot of books, and then accomplishing the seemingly impossible dream and selling a book, I would have managed to send that ugly monster packing. At the least, I should have been able to slap some duct tape over his foul mouth. But nope, with every step forward I went to take, with every goal I set, the little sucker somehow managed to be there, taunting me, yanking off the duct tape I’d smacked on his mouth, trying to rob me of my confidence. And the sad truth is, he’s still here.
“I wanna. . .”
“When pigs fly.”
“I wanna . . .”
“When pigs fly.”
You see, it doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished, those gremlins hang on. Yet, somehow, even with that little monster whispering in my ear, I’ve managed to keep going.
Some may assume I simply got a break before I broke. However, I wasn’t on the fast track. There was nothing quick or easy about accomplishing my wannas. God knows, I’m not an overnight success. I started writing in 1984, my first novel came out a short ten years later. For ten years, I kept slapping tape over that gremlin’s mouth. And it only took me thirteen years later to sell the second book. And while I started writing freelance and sold articles along the way, I received enough rejections to wallpaper my house and about ten of yours, and I’m not talking small houses.
You know, it’s hard to believe in yourself, to set out to accomplish your dreams–and I don’t care what kind of dream– when you have a negative-Nellie monster living in your head. But I think it helped me to learn that a lot of us have those gremlins. And while we may never completely rid ourselves of them, we can get better at ignoring them. And we can be successful as we battle them, armed of course, with a lot of mental duct tape.
Here are five tips for how I handle my gremlins.
- I set small, easily reached goals, baby steps to achieving my dream, and I celebrate each one.
- I surround myself with positive people, people whom inspire me and believe in me. If you don’t have those people in your life, find them.
- I give myself the time and schedule to pursue my dream most every day, even if it’s ten minutes. If you stop working on a dream consistently, it’s easy to stop all together.
- When the monster starts talking, trying to shoot down my confidence, I do what my mama told me never to do. I talk back. When I hear that voice say, “When pigs fly,” I give him hell and say “I’ll show him.” And now I have the photo to prove it.
- I keep visual reminders out for inspiration. A plaque, a good critique, a copy of your first book, or maybe even a rock are all good examples!
So, do you have a negative-Nellie monster living inside your head? How do you deal with him/her? Today one person will win an inspirational rock along with a copy of any of my novels. So make sure you leave a comment.